by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2005

chartHow much formal education do meeting planners have? M&C pursued that question in an online survey conducted in June. Of the 332 planners who responded, 48 percent hold four-year bachelor’s degrees; another 26 percent attended some college but did not earn a degree.
    Among the rest of the sample, 12 percent hold master’s degrees, 7 percent have two-year associate’s degrees and 2 percent are Ph.D.s. Four percent concluded their education after high school, and 1 percent did not finish high school.
    Those who went to college report a wide range of majors. The highest number (24 percent) concentrated on business/accounting; followed by marketing/communications (16 percent), hospitality (5 percent) and English (2 percent).
    Respondents cited more than 100 other majors, including behavioral science, chemistry, criminal justice, home economics, meetings and destination management, and meteorology.
    Many planners are taking classes now at universities or via professional associations. Six percent currently are enrolled in a college-accredited program, while in the past, 22 percent have taken college-accredited courses in hospitality-related subjects. Fully 78 percent have enrolled in classes while working full time.
chart    The findings show employers generally are supportive of continuing education; 79 percent of respondents said their companies reimburse them for local seminars and educational events; 56 percent are reimbursed for classes offered by meetings industry associations, and 51 percent are covered for courses for industry certification programs as well as college courses. Thirteen percent get no reimbursement at all.